During these unprecedented times, domestic violence victims have more to fear than touching a grocery cart, a door handle or having been near someone who may be a carrier of a sometimes-deadly COVID-19 virus. Their fears may be magnified because they may be socially distanced from their support system and ordered to shelter in place with their abuser.
No one has been adequately prepared for the fallout from this pandemic.
According to the New York Times article “Where can Domestic Violence Victims Turn During Covid-19?, Katy Ray-Jones, chief executive officer of the National Domestic Violence Hotline, recently shared that her biggest worry is that victims “can’t reach out for help. Victims are unable to have a phone conversation when the perpetrator is beside them, and abusers often monitor the phones of their victims.”
Out of an abundance of caution, we have been forced to close our office for our clients and staff and we will not be able to host our annual fundraiser and benefit. AND continues to provide counseling, advocacy, education and support remotely to our clients through phone calls, emails, texts and video conferencing. We are fortunate to have a team in place that is able to respond in this way when a client is safe enough to reach out. This may not be the case for all of our clients–some may not be able to secure a moment away from their abuser.
The Board of Directors, our staff and I are focused on continuing to provide services to our clients during this time and at any time needed in the future. We are sending this heartfelt thank you to our supporters that continue to donate so that we can continue our work.
To our clients and other victims of domestic violence: It is not your fault. You are not alone.